Tuesday 12 May 2009

Bligh in drag

"It is about jobs, jobs, jobs – that is the reason I am leading the [Guam] delegation, it is about employment opportunities for Cairns," Regional Council Mayor, Val Schier told the Cairns Post today.

'Jobs, jobs, jobs...' I recall a recent State election where this statement was thrown at us ad nauseum to hoodwink the electorate, yet we have already lost 1,520+ jobs since the election.

Me thinks these are promises way too impossible to make or keep.


Helen said...

Back in the dim dark early days of Chairman Beattie's Premiership, before the proliferation of bloggers reporting on recent events. Media Pete came out with the boldest of statements claiming he would lower unemployement to 5%.
Many scoffed at this shameless attention grabbing promise when we had so many new Kiwi mouths to feed on our shores.
Alas, either by design, dodgy stats or good fortune the prohecy came true.
While healthy cynacism of politcal advertising is a good thing, and although I don't like her chances, this might be one area where Beattie's former treasurer has just a teensy bit of credibility.

S. Northy said...

We've got yearly flooding, a severe dengue outbreak, no mass evacuation plan in place for the city, and we're chasing after the US military money. Nice to know what the citys priorities are.

Bryan Law said...

I sent this e-mail to Val today. I'll post any reply I get.

Hi Val,

I appreciate the motivation you refer to in today’s paper for visiting Guam to assist in finding job and economic opportunities for Cairns residents and businesses.

However I urge you to make the most of this opportunity to examine the adverse impacts of militarism on the people of Guam, in particular the indigenous Chamorro people.

The militarisation of Guam threatens the entire Asia/Pacific region. It is based on the dispossession of the Chamorro. It does nothing for the defence of Australia. Our participation in it for the few pennies available is unwise policy, and I’d like to suggest we can do much better.

As I hope you have noticed, the Australian government intends to spend $100 Billion acquiring sophisticated new weaponry over the next 20 years. That configuration of arms build-up will see Australia fight in many wars as but one component of the US military machine.

As well as prostituting Cairns to the Guam Naval, Air, and Marine bases/personnel, we are seeing a ship-building contract for Cairns valued at around $250 Million.

Please ask yourself whether Cairns would benefit more from that contract, or from, say, the provision of a teacher’s aide to every class-room in Cairns, plus additional nursing and medical staff at our hospital. Which would you rather have?

Why is the development of civil society and civil infrastructure not available, while an accelerating military budget is – even though we have no credible threats to Australian security over the next 20 years?

I’d appreciate a response to this e-mail, and I’d appreciate a report from you on your return about the discussions you hold with representatives of the Chamorro people.

Yours sincerely

Bryan law

CBD Warrior said...

The largest overseas-based contingent of American Marines is located on Okinawa. This is the group (8000 + dependents) that is being moved from Japan to Guam.

For those of you that don't know, the Marines are the "killing machines" of the American military. The soldiers are the most poorly educated, and this is where juveniles with criminal problems are often steered.

The Japanese are paying some $6Billion to move these Marines off Okinawa (while keeping the American Air Force and Navy in place). Why? Because of rapes, muggings, armed robberies, and a whole host of other crimes committed by American Marines.

Hey, they should fit right in!

Richard Hertz said...

Once again Bryan Law's ignorant views are thrust before us all to see.

As is easy to see, the minority Chamorros RUN Guam, lock, stock, and crooked barrel. And caucasians are a distant minority of the population in Guam, behind Filipinos, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, and Marianna Islanders. Since Chamorros hold all the positions of power in Guam, I'm quite sure that's who our mayor will be meeting with.

If it wasn't for American government support to the tune of some $400M per year, Guam would still be a fishing backwater. Few of any group would complain of any adverse affects of American military involvement in Guam - and as Bryan Law seemingly forgets at every turn, without the American military, we'd all be speaking Japanese now. Australia is now just assuming more of the burden, and hence the political responsibility, in its upgrading of our defence.

As for prostituting Cairns to the American military, it's a decision we made long ago. There is no legal prostitution in Guam, and while I wouldn't be foolish enough to claim it wasn't there, I've not seen columns of ads for Chinese girls pretending to be Japanese "escorts" in any of the Guam newspapers as we see here.

Bryan Law said...

Hi Richard, your line "without the American military, we'd all be speaking Japanese now" is a useful piece of rhetoric, but suffers from being entirely untrue.

The Pacific war, and its precursors, was one of my major fields of study at University - and the japanese military plan (for the East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere)relied on a war of attrition with the US/Britain after Pearl Harbour/Singapore, followed by a negotiated peace and power sharing deal which included the "little yellow johnnies".

War was pursued as a last resort after the US imposed oil and trade embargoes on the Moslem Terrorists, oops, I mean Axis of Evil, sorry, Japanese fascists.

Following which the US pursued both unconditional surrender and Atomic blackmail (which included major atrocities against Japanese civilians) and brought us the present fraught circumstances.

BTW, you might notice that Japanese is now being taught in just about every primary and high school in Australia.

Bayonets and Tennis anyone?

Syd Walker said...

Spot on Bryan. Great letter to Val too! The view of Richard Hertz that US military bases are preferable to fishing backwaters should be of interest to fishers, recreational and commerical, and give them a clue as who their real friends are.

He also makes the tired old claim that "without the American military, we'd all be speaking Japanese now."

It's a variant on the old, old Anglo-Saxon theme "we declared war in self-defense". The world is getting rather tired of it, even in English-speaking Cairns.

If Australians don't want to feel threatened by other nations, how about trying a different tack, like not declaring war on them?